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5508 controller coexisting with Autonomous and LWAPs

I have a question for the group and was curious if anyone has done this. I am looking through the docs on CCO and have gone through several books:

Controller-Based Wireless LAN Fundamentals – very good and updated 2010 publication and Deploying and Troubleshooting Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers also very good but from 2009.

I have a new install coming up over a legacy install. What I mean is we have a classic autonomous AP based setup on the campus with one vlan. We now want to deploy 5508 controllers and new N based AP. My questions are for migration approach. One school of thought is to deploy the controllers and convert all the autonomous fat APs to LWAPs then replace each LWAPs with a new N unit one or x at a time at our convenience. Then convert the removed FAT to converted LWAPs back to FAT (IOS) for another special classic non controller use.

I was curious if I can save this conversion step and deploy the controllers thus letting the users continue to use their classical FAT architecture while I add the N based APs one at a time. So, for example, I have the fat architecture now, deploy controllers, and on one floor where there is 5 fat APs swap one with an N AP. Now anyone in that N cell range will go through the controller but the other folks in the other cells can continue to authenticate and associate using the fat system in place. Can the controllers and Autonomous systems reside together? The only immediate protocol mechanics related issue here is roaming. I want to avoid any issues related to converting the FAT aps to LW aps in production(bugs, rollbacks etc that can slow things down). This way I can get the controllers and new APs in place quickly utilizing some known RF variables and slowly push the older APs out of use. Kinda like a SIN routing protocol migration flip with Admin distance flipping.

Is this possible and has anyone done this? Just curious. I am still looking though the docs. An thoughts are greatly appreciated.

1 REPLY
Cisco Employee

Re: 5508 controller coexisting with Autonomous and LWAPs

This is possible. But don't expect any collaboration between WLC and IOS APs.

So roaming between lwapp aps and ios aps won't be smooth. The Lwapp aps will also consider the IOS APs as rogue unless you manually declare them friendly ...

Co-existence is not something recommended if you are peaky about those details.

If you only have data usage and a few hard-cut roaming doesn't scare you, then why not.

Nicolas

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